Copperbelt-bound Marcopolo bus accident seriously injures 7 passengers

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SEVEN people are fighting for their lives in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) after being injured in another road traffic accident on the Great North Road yesterday.
The accident happened when a Copperbelt-bound Marcopolo bus registration number AAM 1916 belonging to Ticklay Coach Services careered off the road and overturned just after Kabangwe.
In February, 54 people lost their lives on the same road at Chisamba and two weeks ago, 18 people perished.
Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela confirmed the accident in Lusaka yesterday.
Nineteen other people sustained minor injuries and are also receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The accident happened when a speeding Marcopolo bus cruised over humps, careered off the road and overturned.
“The total number of victims who have been taken to the UTH is 26, including seven who are seriously injured and 19 with slight injuries,” Ms Kanjela said.
Other passengers were examined by doctors from the Ministry of Health who rushed to the scene of the accident.
The accident happened around 05:00 hours.
Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) senior public relations manager Mercy Khozi-Mwila said the bus driver evaded inspection by RTSA at the Intercity Bus Terminus before departure.
She said recently RTSA introduced a log book where the details of all buses leaving the station are recorded.
Ms Mwila said there was no record of the bus leaving the station, indicating that the driver used a different outlet which is not meant for exiting buses.
“The bus did not pass through the designated exit where inspectors are stationed to check each and every vehicle that leaves the station.
“They check whether the buses are overloaded or whether or not they are roadworthy,” she said.
She said preliminary investigations have shown that the bus had a weak steering system which broke when the bus went over rumble stripes (smaller humps).
Government is planning to turn parts of the Great North Road into a dual carriageway to prevent road traffic accidents.